Tuscan Touch Designs, Raleigh
919-302-7226 or TuscanTouchDesigns.com
My design signature: Lighting is everything! Ambient, task and decorative – a great lighting plan will make a home comfortable, functional, safe and beautiful.
What I dream about: Renovating an old villa in Tuscany. My visits to this Italian region always leave me wishing to return. The care given to the old structures inspire me on every project, no matter what design style.
Design fad I want to see retired: I’m not sure if this is a fad or simply a pet peeve: Plain plate-glass mirrors. Even in a practical application, like a bathroom vanity, a mirror can be so much more than a vast rectangular slab of coldness. Vary the shape, layer mirrors or frame with tile. Get creative!
My favorite room: After spending a decade and a half in the corporate world of cubicles, steel desks and fluorescent lights, I took great pleasure in designing a functional and beautiful home office when I started my interior design business. A comfortable room, beautiful view and good WiFi access make working a pleasure.
Design blog I love: If you haven’t been to houzz.com, you must. It’s a fabulous decorating resource for homeowners and professionals. My clients and I share links from houzz that inspire us. This information gives me great insight into a client’s style and a good jump-start on the design of their dream home.
My biggest design risk and how it turned out: I lost a little sleep the first time I closed off a window in a renovation. The rule is “the more natural light the better,” right? However, this room was a first-floor master bathroom. Privacy had been a longstanding issue. Additionally, there was a large skylight, so I went for it and removed not one but two windows! This enabled me to expand the size of the shower and exceed expectations. We’ve never looked back. These types of remodels don’t even seem risky anymore.
On my bedside table: I like to have everything within easy reach – reading light, water, lip balm, ear buds, tissues, phone and some inspiration books.
My favorite find: You always find just what you need when you aren’t looking for it. While shopping, I discovered not just one, but a pair of gorgeous antique bronze candelabras. They were quite large and heavy. I wasn’t sure where I’d put them, but I just had to have them. This lovely pair now perfectly flank the china cabinet in a dining room and help set the mood for evening dining and entertaining.
Favorite hostess gift: I keep a gift closet filled with pretty items I collect in my travels. When I find something I love, I usually buy a few. Something you’d enjoy yourself will be appreciated by others as well. If I don’t have something on hand, I look for something that is unique to the host or hostess.
Next big design trend: Texture! On my most recent trip to the International Home Furnishing Market, I simply couldn’t keep my hands off the textiles. Look at the deep wale on this corduroy upholstered sofa. I can attest to how soft and comfy it is. And the velvet and leather teal-colored toss pillows dress it up, yet keep it inviting.